Crossing the Lines

Team building is one of the most important factors for MPS success. It seems obvious, but most struggles around MPS come down to people solving problems. Isn’t it always?

People are the weakest and strongest link in your chain. So what can be done to keep employees engaged and productive?

When I was with one of the largest uniform companies in the world, they had a policy of “cross training.” At least once a quarter the sales team would ride along in one of the trucks for two days. Picking up dirties, delivering the clean, and meeting with every customer on the route. It was our chance as professional sales people to get rid of the suit and tie, don our uniform, and get our hands dirty.

It was the best experience possible.

While running a MPS practice, I routinely invited my Operations Coordinator along with me for customer reviews and prospect presentations. Our clients were thrilled to see somebody from the team, and my prospects were equally impressed. Of course, the operations coordinator communicates with our clients whenever a service issue arises or a problem occurs– clients knew her name, but never her face.

Conversely, she became an instant MPS Evangelist within my organization – how many humorous events occur during a review or presentation? Dozens! These anecdotes traveled around the lunch table for weeks, amusing many. So too did the positive and engaging attitude around the MPS practice.

I didn’t stop there. Our quarterly and sometimes monthly routine included joint service calls with my service technicians. This one simple act delivered so much good will with my customer base and technical team, I am bewildered as to why these co-calls are not implemented by more dealer principals. It is part of the “M” in managed print services.
In the end, the benefits were equal between my prospects, clients, and internal MPS team. I was blurring the lines between operations, service, sales and the client.

Did the feelings of my internal team translate to the bottom line? Could I derive a few extra margin points? Was customer satisfaction improved and solidified? Yes, on all accounts in all accounts